MISHAWAKA–– Days can be cold and dark at Bethel, especially during the upcoming winter months. As such, there are some things students and others can do to help their physical and mental health during the wintertime here in the Midwest.
Courtney Chapman, wellness program coordinator, suggests that students drink plenty of water and maintain a healthy diet. She also suggests making time to go outside, despite the cold temperatures.
“Bundle up for a walk around campus or the river walk,” Chapman said.
Other nearby outdoor activities include ice skating at Howard Park in South Bend and cross-country skiing at St. Patrick’s County Park.
Maintaining physical health in the upcoming months also involves guarding against sicknesses such as the flu. To prevent spreading sickness, wash your hands regularly, avoid close-contact situations and stay home when you are feeling sick.
In the winter months, when the days get shorter and darker, mental health is also affected. Some people may experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression. According to The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), people experience short periods of time where they do not feel like themselves.
The NIMH website states, “People may start to feel ‘down’ when the days get shorter in the fall and winter.”
Bethel’s Wellness Center has a sun lamp that students can utilize by calling to schedule an appointment. This could help minimize some side effects that students may be facing in the darker days ahead. The Wellness Center’s phone number is (574) 807-7370.
“This is beneficial in the dark gloomy winter months just in general and especially if you are feeling depressed or experience SAD,” Chapman said.